PRATIK SHAH

Next-generation antimicrobials

The discovery of antibiotics in the early 20th century fundamentally transformed human and veterinary medicine. Antibiotics save millions of lives each year in the United States and around the world. The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, however, represents a serious threat to public health and the economy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that annually at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States alone. Targeting availability of bacterial metabolites linked to promoting pathogenicity in humans is a novel approach to train microbes to be less virulent, and ergo improve efficacy of existing antibiotics and is an unexplored field. I described a molecular switch, controlled by bacterial diets, that toggles microbial infectivity in humans. I was invited to speak at leading national and international scientific conferences, TEDx and Google at their Solve for X event.

Resources

  • 2014 - Executive Order - Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria [PDF]
  • 2014 - Bugs, drugs and guts animation [YouTube Video]

Talks

Press

Honors

Other Harvard Research Areas